MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Triple Crown Sports baseball tournament has been going on at various sites along the Grand Strand. Yesterday, the Georgia Titans claimed the championship for the 14 year old division but it is who was playing in that game that brought a former Masters Champion to the Grand Strand.
Tommy Aaron has one of the most captivating stories of sporting triumph.
"From an early age, I knew I wanted to be a professional golfer," said Tommy Aaron, 1973 Masters Champion. "You never know if you're going to be good enough until you try."
Aaron's path to golfing greatness wasn't traditional. He was required to go out of his way to play and often went to any length possible to play in tournaments.
"The way I had to travel, I would not advise it because I even hitchhiked to golf tournaments. I would not advise kids to do that today, said Aaron with a smile.
The 77 year old still travels the country for competition, but it is family and the American past-time that brings him to the grand strand this weekend.
"I enjoy watching Brandon play baseball and I was playing crazy eights with Natasha here, we're trying to play cards and I'm trying to watch the play game at the same time but I enjoy those things."
"It's exciting having him being able to come to my tournaments and watch, all the way from Georgia," said Brandon Neeck, Aaron's Grandson.
Like Aaron, the native New Yorker cruises the country for competition; he's also managed to rub elbows with some golf greats.
"It's pretty cool; I've met some big golfers before. I met Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and some other big ones at some tournaments that I got to go to with him."
Though he appreciates the sport, Neeck's heart is on the diamond.
"I try not to play golf during baseball season just because it's slightly different and some of the mechanics get flopped and it can mess up your swing in each sport. So I try to stay away from golf as much as I can but I play every once in a while."
As for the masters champion, "I play some and I enjoy playing, I just don't enjoy the level that I play at now," said Aaron with a smile.